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SC & CR Notes

Sentence Correction

1. LIKE cannot introduce examples (SUCH AS must be used instead)


2. SHOULD means "moral obligation" not "likelihood. (no SHOULD in command subjunctive)
3. BEING almost always signals redundancy.
4. "The fact that" is always redundant
5. A sentence - at least one main clause (subject and a verb)
6. Avoid to begin sentence with a subordinating conjunction such as BECAUSE, IF or WHICH.
7. Present Participles (-ing form) and past participles (-ed and -en form) - act as adjective.
8. Additive phrases - Along with, accompanied by, in addition to, together with, as well as,
including – always singular.
9. Only the word AND can change a singular subject into a plural one.
10. OR, EITHER OR, NEITHER NOR - verb should match in the number to the nearest subject to the
verb.
11. EITHER OR, NEITHER NOR appear without OR or NOR - then they take singular verbs.
12. Collective nouns are always take singular verbs (Agency, army, audience, class, committee,
crowd, orchestra, team, baggage, citrus, equipment, fleet, fruit furniture)
13. Indefinite pronouns like anyone, nobody, something (that end with …one, …body, …thing)
require singular verbs.
14. SANAM (some, Any, None, All, More/Most) can be singular or plural. Noun of the of phrase
(that usually precedes SANAM) determines the number.
15. Technically, none of + plural noun can take either a singular or plural verb form.
16. EACH and EVERY always take singular verbs.
17. "The number of" - singular verb, "A number of" - plural verb.
18. “The numbers of” is almost always incorrect. “Numbers” is possible in a few contexts.
19. Majority, minority, and plurality - many individual part of the totality (plural verb), totality
itself (singular verb).
20. The subject of a sentence is -ING phrase or even a whole phrase - always singular.
21. When in doubt, use singular. Most of the confusing nouns are singular.
22. Parallel parts of a sentence are always signaled by parallel markers. (and, both x and y, or,
either/or, not x but y, not only/ but also, rather than, from x to y)
23. Parallelism: working verbs - working verbs, infinitive – infinitive, adjectives – adjectives, past
participles, and present participles (used as adjectives)
24. Parallel clauses should start with the same word. Only a clause can be parallel to a clause.
25. For the list joined by AND, we put comma after every element and the comma and the "and"
before the last.
26. Linking verb - a parallel marker. (to be, appear, become, feel, grow, look, remain, represent,
resemble, seem, smell, sound, stay, taste, turn). Adjectives, not adverbs, follow linking verbs
27. Pronouns and antecedent must match in numbers.
28. Nouns used as adjectives cannot be antecedents of pronouns.
29. Antecedent must actually exist as a noun. Antecedent and pronoun must agree logically. To
check - replace pronoun with antecedent in the sentence.
30. Every pronoun should have only one possible antecedent.
31. Use WHO as subject pronoun and WHOM as an object one.
32. Possessive nouns - antecedents only to possessive pronouns, not to subject or object pronoun.
33. Never skip past deadly five: It, Its, They, Them, Their – stop and check.
34. This, That, These, and Those – New copy. Personal pronouns - SAME ACTUAL THING as the
antecedent.
35. Do not use THIS or THESE in place of nouns. Do not use THAT or THOSE in place of nouns. Use
IT, THEY, or THEM.
36. Adj+Adj+noun - two adjectives both modify the noun. Adv+Adj+noun - the adverb modifies
the adjective, which modifies the noun.
37. Noun modifiers should touch the noun they modify. Modifier is next to a different noun - a
misplaced modifier. The noun to modify does not exist - a Dangling modifier.
38. A present participle (-Ing form) at the beginning of a sentence is often dangling - need a noun
subject that makes sense.
39. A verb modifier does not have to touch the subject – answers "how," "when," "where," "why"
questions.
40. Modifiers cannot normally modify a noun in the possessive case.
41. WHO and WHOM – people, WHICH – things, WHOSE – either people or things
42. WHICH or WHOM sometimes follow prepositions
43. THAT or WHOM can be dropped when the modified noun is the object of the modifying clause
44. WHERE - place such as area, site, country, WHERE cannot modify a "metaphorical" place
45. WHICH - "metaphorical" place.
46. WHEN (IN WHICH) - a noun event or time, such as period, age, 1987, or decade.
47. An essential modifier to identify the noun - THAT (and no commas) – sentence doesn`t make
sense without it.
48. Non-essential modifiers provide extra information - WHICH (and commas) – sentence makes
sense without it.
49. WHICH - only to refer to the noun immediately preceding it - never to refer to an entire clause.
50. When relative clauses parallel - start with the same relative pronoun.
51. Avoid relative clauses with the only verb - to be
52. Past participle signals noun modifier.
53. General definitions - simple present, future actions - simple future.
54. The past progressive - a background event while simple past - a more important even in the
foreground
55. Try to avoid the present progressive.
56. Sentences with more than one action do not necessarily require more than one verb tense.
57. The present perfect tense - actions that started in the past but continues (or whose result
continues) into the present, or remain true in the present.
58. SINCE, WITHIN (time phases) – present perfect.
59. The present perfect more often found with simple present then with simple past.
60. Past perfect - clarify or emphasize a sequence of past events.
61. Sequence is already obvious – don`t use past perfect. A sequence of verbs with the same
subject - simple past for all verbs.
62. When AFTER or BEFORE is used - the perfect tenses are unnecessary.
63. After a past tense REPORTING VERB - move present to past, past to past perfect, and future to
conditional.
64. Stick to - present+future or past+conditional tense formulas.
65. Hypothetical subjunctive – to be=were or simple past for every other verb.
66. IF present, THEN present, If present, then can or may, If present, THEN future, If Hypothetical
Subjunctive, THEN Conditional, If past perfect, THEN conditional perfect.
67. Command Subjunctive – infinitive without TO, no -S for third person singular, verb to be – BE.
68. Bossy verb + THAT + subject + Command Subjective.
69. Always command subjunctive - Demand, dictate, insist, mandate, propose, recommend,
request, stipulate, suggest.
70. Only infinitive - advise, allow, forbid, persuade want.
71. Either: ask, beg, intend, order, prefer, urge, require.
72. CS is possible with IT IS X, in which X is an adjective, such as essential, that conveys urgency.
(also possible with infinitives).
73. Avoid the use of CS after WHETHER.
74. Passive voice - sentence contains the person or agent performing the action preceded by the
word BY.
75. Comparisons are a form of parallelism. Comparison signals: like, unlike, more than, less than,
faster than, different from, in contrast to/with, as, as (adj.) as, as much as, as little as, as fast
as, the same as
76. LIKE (proposition) - comes before nouns, pronouns, or noun phrases. No LIKE before clause
(with working verb) or prepositional phrase. (might be metaphorical, not literal)
77. AS - a preposition (appearing with a noun) or a conjunction (appearing with a clause) – can
compare clauses.
78. Conjunction AS (appearing with a clause) -Function AS, Equation AS, Stage AS.
79. Preposition AS (appearing with a noun) - Duration AS, Causation AS, Comparison AS (smt.
with JUST, SO or EVEN SO)
80. Do not compare an adverb that ends in-ly by changing the ending to -er.
81. Comparative adjective – only with THAN.
82. Comparative adjective – two objects. Superlative adjective – more than two objects.
83. AND after a comma - a list or two main clauses.
84. Comma + coordinating conjunction (For And Nor But Or Yet So) - two main clauses to coexist.
85. Comma + subordinator (Although, Because, Before, After, Since, When, If, Unless, That,
Though, While) - reduce one of the clauses to a subordinate clause.
86. Do not use a comma before AND to separate two verbs that have the same subject.
87. To connect two related main clauses (each one must stay alone) – semicolon.
88. (Conjunctive Adverb) THEREFORE, HOWEVER, IN ADDITION in the second half of a sentence -
use a semicolon.
89. A colon to explain something further. (first part should stand alone – the second may not)
90. The Dash (-) is a flexible. Sometimes dash is preferred over comma.
91. Countable vs Uncountable nouns - perform counting test.
92. Countable: Many, Not many, Few, fewer, fewest, number of, fewer than, numerous, More
numerous
93. Uncountable: Much, Not much, Little, less, least, Amount of, less than a certain amount of,
great, greater
94. More, most, enough, and all (MEAL) work with both countable and uncountable nouns.
95. Be Careful with unit nouns such as DOLLARS or GALLONS.
96. INCREASE and DECREASE - the change of one thing over time. GREATER and LESS - comparison
between two things.
97. VAN #1: Prefer a verb to an action noun.
98. VAN #2: Prefer a THAT-Clause (that with verbs) to a series of phrases (with nouns).
99. VAN # 3: Prefer a verb to an adjective.
100. VAN#4: Prefer an adjective to a noun. (avoid noun derived from adjective)
101. VAN#5: Prefer an Adverb to a Prepositional Phrase.
102. Remove IT IS…THAT construction
103. Keep THAT after a reporting verb (Announce, assert, believe, confess, demonstrate,
doubt, expect, hold, know, mention, observe, proclaim, reason, recognize, repeat, state, think,
and warn).
104. No THAT after verb SAY
105. Avoid making concrete nouns and action nouns parallel.
106. Avoid making with simple and complex gerunds parallel.
107. Simple gerund phrases are "Nouns on the outside, verbs on the inside“.
108. Complex Gerund Phrases are "Nouns Through the Through." – often with articles (a,
an, or the) or adjectives (accurate)
109. Only complex gerunds can be parallel to action nouns.
110. Always choose the complex gerund phrase over simple.
111. Reflexive pronouns (itself and themselves) - subject acts upon itself - another pronoun
may be less ambiguous.
112. ONE ANOTHER and EACH OTHER - interaction between parties.
113. SUCH ("like the antecedent") & OTHER/ANOTHER ("additional of the same type") -
combine with a general noun to indicate and antecedent.
114. ONE indicates an indefinite copy or a single
115. DO SO can refer to an entire action, including a verb, its objects and its modifiers.
116. In the phrase "DO IT", the pronoun it must refer to an actual noun antecedent.
117. When the subject or object is awkward, it usually moved to the back of the sentence
and IT is placed instead of subject or object. Its called "placeholder it" and in this case "IT"
does not require antecedent.
118. Get rid of pronouns altogether by using generic synonyms to refer to nouns.
119. Repeated pronouns are presumed to refer to the same antecedent.
120. The pronoun should normally refer to the closest eligible antecedent.
121. The pronoun and the antecedent should agree in case if they are in parallel structures.
122. A "mission-critical" modifier falls between. This modifier is often an of-phrase that
defines the noun. The less important modifier refers to the noun plus the first modifier.
123. A very short predicate falls between, shifting a very long modifier back.
124. A short non-essential phrase intervenes and is set off by commas.
125. The modifier is part of a series of parallel modifiers, one of which touches the noun.
126. Do not use OF X's - the GMAT avoids the plural possessive answer choice or choices.
127. A relative clause and a present participle modifier are practically interchangeable.
128. Present particles - the same tense as the main verb.
129. Absolute phrase - do not have to modify what they touch.
130. At the end of a sentence -ing form or an absolute phrase indicate a result of the
preceding clause
131. Never use WHICH to tack on a second thought in the sentence.
132. A pronoun cannot have an antecedent that is verb phrase
133. A noun that modifies a gerund has to be in the possessive form.
134. Ensure parallelism with UNLIKE
135. To relate the quantities by multiplication - AS…AS… together.
136. TIMES without AS or THAN - direct multiplication (twice means two times).
137. To relate two quantities by addition or subtraction - MORE THAN or LESS THAN.
138. HIGH and LOW as well as HIGHER and LOWER - only as adjectives.
139. Pay attention to the position of MORE and LESS (meaning).
140. EXCEED and SURPASS – two items parallel.
141. “WHETHER” – similarity, “IF” – conditional construction.
142. “Compared with” - compare two things, “compared to” – to liken something to
something that is usually not comparable to the thing being likened.
143. “Due to” - “caused by”, “because of” - “for”
144. “Rather than” - preference. “Instead” - replacement.
145. ( In parallel structures) - two participles, one ending with –ing and the other ending
with –ed. It is still grammatically correct.

Critical Reasoning

Only spend 1 min and 45 seconds on each question

Parts of the a Critical Reasoning Question


1. Stimulus
2. A Premise: gives reason why something should be believed
3. A conclusion: is a statement that follows from one or more reasons
4. Assumption
5. Question
Analyzing the Stimulus: As you read the stimulus, focus on making a quick analysis of the topic under
discussion.

Note that the stimulus could speak on any given topic. This is not a major concern

Primary objective #1

When reading the Critical Reasoning stimuli, seek whether or not it is a fact or argument being dealt
with.

If it is an Argument (a statement that is derived from one or more pieces of in formation)- it


must have a Premise and Conclusion

If it is a Fact (a collection of statements without a conclusion)

Key Words:

Premise Conclusion Additional Premise words Counter Premise Words

Because Thus Furthermore But

Since Therefore Moreover Yet

For Hence Bedsides However

Consequently
For example (“ly”) In addition On the other hand

for the reason that As a result What’s more Admittedly

in that So, If In contrast

given that Accordingly Although

as indicated by Clearly Even though

due to Must Be Still

owing to Whereas
Shows(is a
action word) that

this can be seen Conclude (is a


from action word) that In spite of

we know Follows that Despite

For this reason After All

-Anything that supports a claim that was made is a premise

-An action word followed by the word THAT is a conclusion

-Additional Premise words- sometimes the author will make an argument and use this to add more
evidence. It is not necessary

-Counter Premise words-(adds an alternative) is more or less a challenge to a stated piece of evidence
mentioned in the stimuli

Primary Objective # 2

 If the stimulus contains an argument identify the conclusion of the argument through key
words. If the stimulus contains a fact, examine the fact
 The conclusion/premise indicator form: test makers will sometimes arrange the premise and
the conclusion key words close to each other to confuse you. Both words are marked by a
comma for separation, so what is in the comma is the Premise while what is outside is the
conclusion, vice versa.
Example: Therefore, since higher debt has forced consumers to lower their
savings, banks now have less money to loan.

-The conclusion is- therefore…. banks…

-The premise is- since higher debt has….

In cases where you can’t identify a conclusion or a premise, don’t automatically think it is a fact, use
the install your own indicators to make sense of the stimuli until it works out. This is a rear case.

For more complex arguments there are two or more conclusions. In this case the statement can be
both a conclusion for one argument and a premise for another.

Basic Argument Complex Argument


Premise Premise

Conclusion Conclusion- which becomes the premise for another stated conclusion

Conclusion

Example: Because the Vikings have the best quarterback in football, they therefore
have the best offense in football. Because they have the best offense in
football, they will win the super bowl next year.

Premise- Because the Vikings have the best quarterback in football

Sub conclusion- they therefore have the best offense in football

Main conclusion- they will win the super bowl next year.

View Points in Arguments:

One famous construction is to raise a viewpoint at the beginning of the stimulus and then disagree
with it immediately after. These stimuli often begin like this:

Some people propose….., YET..

Some critics claim……., HOWEVER…

Some people believe…, BUT….

Example: Some people believe that the country’s revenue tax


should increase. Such a tax, however,(opposite part of the claim is here)
would do more harm than good. Pg 31
 The conclusion for these paragraphs will typically be the opposite of the claim stated by the
sentence. LOOK FOR THE COUNTER PREMISE. Some….. Example:… “Tax would do more
harm than good”

Primary Objective # 3 Read closely; know what the author just said.

Inference and Assumption

An Inference of the argument means to find an item that must be true given the information in the
stimuli

An assumption is a piece of evidence or premise not stated- It is made up of similar words as the
conclusion.

The question stems and Answer choice

The question specifies the task you must perform in order to get credit for the problem. Questions
ask you to: Identify details of the stimulus, describe the structure of the argument, strengthen and
weaken, identify inferences and assumptions, recognize errors of reasoning, reconcile conflicts,
finding arguments that are identical in structure.

Though the question stems are different, they often ask the same thing. Learn each question type
and become familiar with the characteristics of each type.

Primary Objective # 4 Carefully read, and identify the question stem. Do not assume that certain
words are automatically associated with certain question types.

The question stem determines the nature of the correct answer. Ten types of questions:

1. Must be true/Inferred/Support- Identify a answer that is best proven by the stimulus


2. Main point-Find the primary conclusion made by the author
3. Assumption- Find the assumption
4. Strengthen/support- find an answer that supports the authors conclusion
5. Weekend- undermine the conclusion
6. Resolve Paradox Method of reasoning- there is a contradiction. Need to explain
something
7. Flaw- What is the error made in the reasoning
8. Parallel Reasoning- Identify an answer that is made up in the same pattern of reasoning as
the stimulus.
9. Evaluate the argument- Find the answer choice that allows you to determine the logical
validity of the argument

Note: “Support” for Must be true and Strengthening are different.

For Strengthening- the support is from the answer to the conclusion

For Must be true- the support is from the Stimuli to the answer.
Primarily you are in search of a Conclusion

Primary Objective # 5 After reading the question stem, paraphrase it.

Primary Objective#6 Separate the answer choices into Contenders and losers. This helps to discard
answers with extreme words.

Type 1

Must Be true Questions

This type of question required you to select an answer that is proven by the information in the
stimuli. When selecting an answer, you must find the proof that supports your answer in the
stimulus. Select the answer that is most clearly supported by what you read. Read the text and
understand the facts

Example: If the statements above are true…

Which of the following must also be true…..

 This is particular for questions where you need to find the Conclusion and Inference
 Make sure the language use in the answer is the same as the stimulus. If it speaks about
SOME…, the answer can not be correct if it talks about MOST or ALL…..
Note

Two types of Answers that will always be correct for this type of question:

1. Paraphrased answers- One of the answers in the answer choice either state exactly
or restate using similar words, part of the stimulus
2. Answers that are the sum of two or more statements in the stimuli. In other word,
the stimulus is repeated with links made to each sentence. (pg79)
 Avoid Answers that are Exaggerated answers, Partially true answers,
answers with New Information, Reverse wording in the Answer- e.g. The
stimulus states “many people have some type of security”. The opposite is “
Some people have many types of security. Note: the order of the words is
reversed though it sounds the same, or a sentence could be read backward.
Find the Conclusion

The conclusion: should link all the evidence together with nothing left out. If any answer choice has
piece left out, it is not correct. It does not have extreme words such as Never, Always, All.

Type 2

Main Point question

This question asks you to summarize the authors’ point of view. The answer you select must follow the
information in the stimulus, i.e. “Must be true question.” Therefore, the answer must not only be
correct, it must also summarize the authors’ point of view.

 The answer to this type of question is the CONCLUSION REPHRASED.

Wrong answer type: Answers that repeat the premise or miss the authors point.

Example of question: Which one of the following most accurately expresses the
conclusion of the argument?
Type 3

Strengthening and Assumption

(A:) Assumption

Assumption question ask you to identify a statement that the argument assumes. It is an unstated
premise of the argument - AN ADDED PREMISE THAT USES SIMILAR WORDS TO THE CONCLUSION.
Additional words will rule out that answer as correct.

Assumption answers contain statements the author must believe in order for the conclusion to be
valid and protects the argument from statements that would undermine the conclusion.

Types of assumption questions:

1. The argument assumes that?


2. Which of the following is an assumption made in drawing the conclusion above?
3. The conclusion of the argument above cannot be true unless which of the following is true?
Note:

Two roles of the Assumption:

- Supporter role: where the assumption connects the premise and conclusion

Example: All male citizens of Athens had the right to vote. Therefore,
Sacrotes had the right to vote. The assumption is that
Sacrotes is a male.

-Defender role: These assumptions contain statements that eliminate ideas or assertions that would
undermine the conclusion. They show that the possible source of attack has been eliminated.

 Find an answer choice that takes the conclusion and put the word “NOT” into it or takes it
out of the conclusion sentence. All this does is provide an answer that eliminates the
conclusion from exposure to criticism, thus showing that a possible source of attack has
been eliminated.

Argument Example: People who read a lot are more intelligent than other people.
Thus, reading must cause a person to be intelligent.

This is a statement that can attack the conclusion/ hence assumption- “sleeping more that eight
hours does not cause a person to be intelligent. Pg 180.
-Any assumption answer the begins with, OR HAVE the words “At Least…..” is correct.

You may also see a blank space preceded by a premise indicator example, “..because……”,
“..Since….”

The blank is always at the end of the stimulus. With this, you are technically being asked to fill in a
missing premise which of course is the Assumption (unstated premise).

(B): Strengthening the Argument

This asks you to identity the answer choice that best supports the argument, The Correct answer does
not necessarily justify the argument, nor is the correct answer necessarily an assumption. The correct
answer helps the answer choice in some way.

You are strengthening the conclusion.

Ask yourself if the answer choice will assist in some way.

 This question type requires you to find the missing link between a premise and the
conclusion (similar to finding the assumption), which when found will strengthen the
conclusion.
Rules:

1. Stimulus has an Argument

2. Focus on the conclusion. All answers impact the conclusion.

Strengthen:

 Questions ask you to support the argument in anyway possible


 Uses words such as: Support, strengthen, helps, justifies.

How to strengthen:

- Find an answer that helps the author’s conclusion in some way.

For Causality and Strengthening questions:


The answer will

- Eliminate any alternate causes for the stated effect. One cause should be
- Show that when the cause occurs the effect occurs and vice versa
- No reversed relationship

Type 4

Weakening Question

When you are weakening you are targeting the assumption (Undermine). These types of question ask
you to undermine the argument stated by the conclusion.

Here is were the answer choice affect the Stimuli

For these questions an argument will always be present with a conclusion attached. Therefore, know the
specifics of the conclusion.

Identification words for Weakening: Refute, attack, undermine, argue against, cast doubt, challenge,
damage, counter, call into question, weaken.

How to weaken an Argument:

 Always ask (when choosing the correct answer), if this choice will make the author reconsider
his position or respond to something.
 Look at the conclusion, and while keeping the assumption in mind, find something that takes
away from what is said.
 Weakening Scenarios:
1. The author fails to consider all the possibilities
2. Comparison of items that are different (flaw)
3. Open conclusion

Conclusion: Look to see whether the Premise support the conclusion properly.

 Find the assumption- The weakener will challenge the assumption. USE THE
DEFENDER RULE “USE OF NOT”
 The correct answer will show that that conclusion fails to account for something
or does not follow from the stated premise. The author may fail to consider
other possibilities, if you realize this and an answer choice points it out, that is
the correct choice. Also, there may be an improper comparison made. The
argument may even be left open for attack.
Note: The wrong answer choice would be to choose an answer that is completely opposite of what is
stated. Also Out of scope answers. Shell Game answers are similar to the conclusion in wording but may
touch on a different component or somewhat out of scope.

Type 5

Resolve the Paradox - Address the facts

-Each stimulus presents a situation where two ideas or occurrences contradict each other.

-There is no conclusion as the author is not trying to persuade you, he/she is only stating the facts.

The correct answer will actively resolve the paradox. It will allow both sides to be factually correct
and it will explain how the situation came into being.

Incorrect answers:

1. If one side is tackled and not the other

2. If two items in the stimuli are similar and the answer choice states the difference

-Words used to show opposing sides are: But, However, Yet, Although, Surprisingly

- Words to show it is a paradox: Explain, Reconcile, Resolve

-Remember you are looking for an answer the resolves the Paradox (both issues). The correct
answer can not just speak on one issue and not the other. If you see this, it is wrong. Ask yourself
what could have lead to that issue.

Pay attention to the language and words used in the stimuli. Make sure it is the same in the answer
choice.

A resolve paradox question would present 4 Wrong answers and one Correct answer. This correct
answer may either 1. Have no impact on the situation 2. Confuse the situation.
Question type 6

Evaluate the argument pg 287

The question stem will ask “which of the following would be most important to know in evaluating the
hypothesis in the passage.”

Each answer choice is posed in the form of a question. Now you must find an answer that is on both
extremes of the question, and target them back at the conclusion to see if it both takes away from it
or supports it depending on which extreme you deal with. If you get a Yes/No effect that is the correct
answer.

Key words to note as identifiers of this question type” Evaluate, Judge.

To derive the correct answer for these questions, use the variance test.

- This test allows you to select an answer that when you ask that question will give you an answer
on both extremes, test YES (positive)and then Test No(a negative)
- All you are doing is asking the question, when you select an answer, that when YES, does the
conclusion fulfill itself or when does it when No
- If you get NO and (NO wrong)
- YES and YES (Wrong)
- YES and NO (Correct).

Type 7

Method of Reasoning and Flaw in Reasoning

The method of reasoning question requires you to select the answer choice that best describes the
method used by the author to make the argument. Your aim is to identify the logical organization
of the argument.

Example of questions:

1. The method of the argument is to


2. The argument proceeds by
3. The argument derives its conclusion by
4. Which of the following describes the technique of reasoning used above?
Use the information in the stimulus to prove or disapprove each answer choice.

Flaw in the Reasoning

Watch for Premise and Conclusion indicators as they will help identify the structure of the argument
When indicating that a flaw is present in the argument the test makers will use phrases such as “ the
reasoning is flawed”. Examples are:

1. Which of the following most accurately describes the flaw in the arguments reasoning
2. The reasoning above is flawed because it fails to recognize that
The correct answer will identify the error in the authors reasoning and then describe that error in
general terms. Beware of answers that describe a portion of the stimulus but fail to identify the error

- Think about the structure of the argument before attacking the answers. If the answer
choice described an event that did not occur in the stimulus- THAT ANSWER IS WRONG
- Watch out for answers that are partially true- these are answers that contain a
description of something that happened in the argument but that also contains
information that did not. This will also be wrong
- Reverse answers and opposite answers Pg 217

BOLD FACED QUESTIONS

Find the conclusion and see how the bolded areas are tied to it.

Type 8

Parallel Reasoning Questions

Parallel reasoning questions ask you to identify the answer choice that contains reasoning most similar
in structure to the reasoning in the stimulus. (You are doing a comparison)

Examples of the question stem:

- Which of the following is most closely parallel in it reasoning to the reasoning in the
argument above?
- Which in of the following exhibits a pattern of reasoning most similar to that exhibited
by the argument above?
- Which one of the following arguments is most similar in its pattern of reasoning to the
argument above?
They all deal with a certain layout or pattern. You must examine the general features of the argument
in the answer choice and match them to the argument in the stimulus.

What to consider as wrong

Answer choices with the same SUBJECT MATTER as the stimulus is WRONG

Answer choices that have the conclusion and premises laid out in the same way are wrong also.

What to look for in order to parallel the stimulus and the Answer choice correctly
-Method of reasoning

-Conclusion- if the answer choice has a conclusion that does not match the one in the stimulus it is
wrong. When matching conclusions you must match the “certainty level or intent of the conclusion” in
the stimulus not necessarily the specific wording of the conclusion. Similar controlling words should be
identified between the two (Never, could, should, must). This allows you to identify the certainty of the
conclusion in the stimulus to be matched with the certainty of the conclusion in the answer choice.

 Example: If the conclusion of the argument says “the reactor can supply the city power grid” an
answer choice with similar control word usage would be one saying “the bank can meet the
needs of customers.” Sometimes words may be different but have the same functionality.

Example:

1. Stimulus conclusion: “So it is untrue that both of the French classes prof Alban will be
(controlling word) teaching next term are introductory classes”
- The correct answer choice: “so the building with the large public space that
was recently completed will not be (controlling word) subject to city tax.” The
reason why it is correct though the controlling words are different is if you flip the one in the
conclusion, it is really saying “Prof Alban will not be teaching introductory classes…”

Once you get the right answer make sure the subject is not the same or the layout of the
information is not the same. The conclusion in the answer choice can not say the same thing as the
premise in the answer choice.

Example: The student body at this university takes courses in a wide range of
disciplines. Miriam is a student at this university, so she takes courses in a wide
range of disciplines.

Which one of the following arguments exhibits flawed reasoning most similar to that in the
argument?

Answer: The editorial board of this law journal has written on many legal issues.
Luise is on the board, so she has written on many legal issues.

Controlling words are similar/same. and the starting of the conclusion is the same (has to be. The
conclusion can not repeat something in the premise.
These questions below could fall into any of the above question types

Question Type 9

Numbers and percentages

If the percentage increases but the corresponding number decreases then the overall total must
have decreased

Words that introduce numerical ideas: Amount, quantity, sum, total, count

Words for percentages: Percent, portion, fraction, ratio, probability, share, segment

Note: Rules

Make sure you still follow through with your reasoning while applying these processes.

- If the stimulus contains percentage or portion information only, avoid answers that contain
hard numbers.
- If the stimulus contains only numerical information, avoid answers that contain percentage
or portion information
- If the stimulus contains both percentage and numerical information, any answer choice that
contains numbers, percentages or both may be true.
Market Share:

Regardless of the size of a market and even though the total amount of the market can shift, the total
market share always ad up to 100%

Because market share is a numbers and percentages concept, market share can change when factors in
the market change.

Market share is simply the portion of a market that a company controls

Type 10

Cause and Effect

You may be asked to Weaken, Strengthen or Find the flaw or assumption for this type
The cause and effect reasoning appears in many these question types, often in the conclusion where the
author mistakenly claims that one event causes another.

Example: Last week IBM announced a quarterly deficit and the stock market dropped 10
points. Thus, IBM’s announcement must have caused the drop.

Most Causal conclusions are flawed because there can be Alternate explanations for the stated
relationships.

-Causality occurs when one event is said to make another occur. Note that the cause must occur before
the effect.

How to recognize CAUSALITY

There is an identifiable EXPRESSIION used to indicate that a causal relationship is present. These are:
caused by, because of, responsible for, reason for, leads to, induced by, promoted by, determined by,
produced by, was a factor in, is an effect of.

All these simply state that one thing caused another.

Two scenarios that lead to causal conclusion:

1. One event causing another – Do not fall into the trap of assuming that the first even caused the
second event
2. Two or more events occur the same time – Events could simply be correlated without causing
each other. Example: Eating ice-cream has been found to correlate with the murder rate.
Therefore, consuming ice-cream must cause one to be more likely to commit murder. (This is
wrong to assume). There could be something else that causes both those rates to rise example
the hot weather.

How to attack a causal conclusion

Whenever you identify a causal relationship in the Conclusion, always be prepared to either Weaken or
Strengthen the argument.

Weakening this argument:

1.) Find an alternative cause.

2.) Show that even when the cause occurs, the effect does not occur.
3.) Show that although the effect occurs the cause did not occur.

4) Show the relationship in reverse. 5.) Stats problem exists with data.

6.) A combination of events could have caused the outcome, or the events individually could have
caused the outcome. This depends on the stimulus

For Causality and Strengthening questions:

The answer will

- Eliminate any alternate causes for the stated effect. One cause should be
- Show that when the cause occurs the effect occurs and vice versa
- No reversed relationship
For Assumption and Causality:

The answer

- Eliminates any alternate causes for the stated effect. One cause should be
- Show that when the cause occurs the effect occurs and vice versa
- No reversed relationship

The words EXCEPT and LEAST in Strengthening and Weakening, AND OTHER question TYPE

Do not think that when you see these words that the Correct answer is automatically the
opposite of what is asked. Example, When a ‘Weaken Except question arise, your answer is not
necessarily something that will strengthen the argument. It could also include an answer that
has NO EFFECT. This method applies to all question types. The Correct answer will not do what
the question asks you to do. If it asks “Flaw Except” the correct answer won’t describe the flaw.
For example:

 For Strengtheners: Four out of the 5 questions will be supporters, while one is not.
 For Weakeners: Four out of five of the answers will weaken, while the other is not.